First Advisor

George Watson

Date of Award

Spring 6-7-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Business Administration: Accounting and University Honors


Business Administration




commercial property, vacancy trend, property valuation, urban development, urban doom loop, donut effect, city planning


This paper examines the alarming impacts of the vacancy phenomenon on commercial properties across American during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in remote work encourages people to work from home more frequently. This does not only lessen employees’ foot traffic to offices, but also disconnects the engagement of consumers and visitors to public areas, such as malls, stores, and other amenities. Many commercial properties have closed, shrunk their operating spaces, or reallocated for safety and security reasons. Reduction in occupancy rate among mentioned properties influences negatively on business owners, their associated partners, residents of the impacted areas, and the city government.

Incorporating evidence from research papers, news articles, and statistics, this study demonstrates the concerns of commercial property vacancies in downtowns and cities. The two noble studies about the Urban Doom Loop and the Donut Effect are two major explanations for the ramifications of surging unoccupied spaces and remote work. Vacancy properties are wasting resources and generating unpleasant outcomes to many business and life aspects. Recommendations and potential regulations have been proposed to improve the economic and social well-being.